This is the story of what happens when a public transit agency asks the public for help picking a new mascot. And that public is the city of Philadelphia.
Spoiler: It does not end well.
Not wanting to miss the mascot train that's been rolling through Philly the last few weeks and has gifted us with Gritty, the Flyers' orange hairy mascot who's probably already drunk on fame, and Phang, the Philadelphia Union's snake with limbs that wishes it were Gritty, SEPTA put out a call on Twitter on Monday for ideas for a mascot of its own.
"Please be nice," the post read.
And all of Philadelphia laughed.
SEPTA, if we didn't know better, we'd think you were new in town.
Among the first suggestions to roll in were those for lethargic animals, because what's a better mascot for Philly's transit agency than one that says, "I'm not in any hurry to get anywhere."
Some mascot suggestions were more creative in their ways of representing SEPTA's relationship to the concept of time.
Other people said that the real stars of any SEPTA experience should be the basis for the agency's new mascot.
Perhaps nobody was more surprised to see SEPTA put out a public call for ideas for a new mascot Monday than SEPTA's current mascot, Paws, the safety dog.
Listen, we think it's pawsitively awful Paws is being treated this way. Nobody should be thrown under a bus — especially by SEPTA.
The agency tried to backtrack after being caught mascot two-timing, but by then the train had already left the station.
What the agency could do to be fair is keep Paws on board but also bring on a human mascot.
The best answer we saw to this train wreck of a mascot question was a suggestion to make a SEPTA mascot out of die-hard Eagles fan Jigar Desai, who was captured on film running full speed into a pole while trying to pump up fellow Eagles fans on the Broad Street Line in January.
Desai, who went to the game after losing his fight with the inanimate pole, represents the resilience of this city and the people who use its transit agency. We can think of no better candidate for a SEPTA mascot.
Except for Gritty, but he's already taken.